Playing Free in Choma!

‘It takes a village to raise a child’ so the community of Choma gathered to celebrate the launch of the Play Free! Project at Choma Children’s Development Programme. The project is aimed at contributing to the protection and safeguarding of children’s rights through sport.

Brave Hingombe, one of the children in the programme, gave a speech saying:

I am very happy to participate in this event, we should play more sports and games. I encourage all children to report any abuse to their family, school or coaches.

Brave

The Children presented a poem about the rights that both girls and boys have to sport. Another poem was about the effects of HIV/AIDS on the community.

Speaking on behalf of NOWSPAR, Ms. Mofu Kandondo highlighted the importance of the partnerships within the project that includes the CBOs, government department and media organisations as all are part of the society in which children develop.

In his speech declaring the opening of the project, the representative of the District Education Board Secretary Mr. Makani  said:

Sport is a key aspect that broadens the child’s education, the Ministry of Education is very pleased with the move by two organisation to work with the education sector in helping fight for the rights of children.

The guest of honor, all the officials, and parents were invited to play two games from the project so they can have a feel of the children’s activities and the information in the games.

Play Free- Parents Playing Goal Game

 

Newly trained Goal Facilitator Mrs. Barbra Malawo said:

This programme is important because children need their rights protected. I am glad we have this training to help us work with the children to play and protect them.

During the Sport Policy Forum held in Choma in September 2015, NOWSPAR had agreed to support sport and lifeskills development programmes in  the Southern Province.

The Provincial Sports Coordinator from the Ministry of Youth Sport and Child Development Mr. Kennedy Mubanga said:

The Ministry is supportive of community sport development programs and is pleased that Choma District is starting this project. It is part of the Ministry’s work to encourage such developments and provide the  policy support as needed, so keep calling on us.

To close the event, we had musical performance by a local artist, and prayers.

The project provides sport and lifeskill development for children and youth using Goal activities. Facilitates engagement of community members, government and civil society in the local community.

The Play Free! Project activities in Choma are supported by Kindernothilfe (Translated: Supporting Children in Need), a development cooperation organisation based in Germany. BICC-CCDP is a Community Based Organisation in Choma that works to promote children’s rights and development.

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Play Free! Safeguarding Sport from GBV

[24.11.12, Lusaka] The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence is a period that we value as we engage more intensely and closely with the issue of Gender Based Violence and with the global community addressing GBV.

NOWSPAR through it’s Play Free! Program is working to contribute to the safeguarding of sport by mobilising the various stakeholders to be aware of the problem and to recognise the opportunities for prevention and response.

NOWSPAR Executive Director Matilda Mwaba says ‘now more than ever, we need to be pragmatic about GBV, it’s not something that we leave at home, it happens everywhere and unfortunately within sport as well. In Zambia, we are mobilising the sports community to rise to the challenge and deal with it.’

Our role is to catalyse the action to prevent GBV such as by facilitating the appreciation of the issues by relevant government departments to ensure action is planned, resourced and accounted for. We are further engaging with sport organisations to explore their structural arrangements to ensure the issue of safety from GBV is integrated within the policies and practices that they have. The third aspect of this approach is cooperation with sport associations and organisations to facilitate access to the athletes and coaches and other personnel in order for them to be reached and trained as leaders and to speak out for themselves,

Gender Based Violence in Sport occurs in the context of a sport institution, between sport participants or practitioners, during or on the way to or from sport events or activities. Sport based violence falls under a wide spectrum of community violence which is elaborated by the World Health Organisation as ‘violence occurring in the public space or institutions among acquaintances or strangers.’

Our actions during this period include media discussions, youth forums, and meetings with sport institution leaders and with government.

Throughout the year, we are cognisant that sport is valuable in itself and as a platform and tool to achieve various development goals; this then drives us to be even more vigilant and proactive in preventing GBV. By engaging across sectors, having a multi -faceted program reinforced by commitment and will, we are confident that together, we can address this issue.

We look forward to a world where all can Play Free